April 15, 2022

The Swift-Footed Darling of the Rocks (Do NOT Actually Call Me That)

by Marie Croke Grass! There is GRASS in my mosaics. Little spits of green jutting up between my maroon swirls, in my rocky piles, even on my signature. Little spits of greenery in the shapes of hoof prints trampling through my land. And I spent a long time on that signature. Oh, my fury will be known! I can see the interloper out there past the outcropping, her blazing white tail sparkling, her sleek black back shining, her head held up like she is proud of the destruction her wake has wrought. That’s the problem with other unicorns:  they are condescending, thinking everyone wants their obnoxious green sprouts that grow…

April 15, 2022

This Story is Called “The Transformation of Things”

by P.H. Lee Once upon a time there was a tree that yearned to become some other thing, some particular thing that it could not put a name to. It turned the idea over and over within itself, but after only a few decades, it could not explain what it was that it yearned to become. “I should ask the rest of the forest,” the tree thought to itself, and so it prepared its words as best it could, coiling them through the capillaries of its root system, trying to explain that it wanted to become something else, but not just anything else, a particular something else that it could…

April 15, 2022

The Imaginary Friend

by Gwynne Garfinkle How it begins: a human girl with brown braids finds me sprawled on my back in the weeds. She stares down at me, and her bespectacled freckle-face bursts into an astonished grin. “Niko? It is you! Are you all right?” She helps me to my feet. I’m about a head taller than her. “I crashed,” I say. I remember hurtling towards a green and blue planet, then the impact. It should have killed me. “My space ship…” I look around. There’s no wreckage, though there should be. Just a little broken glass and some cigarette butts. How do I know what cigarette butts are? There are no…

April 15, 2022

Charley Coavins

by Gretchen Tessmer The first time I meet Charley Coavins, I’m sitting on a lichen-licked speck of rock, way up on the sunny hillside of an old mountain I don’t know by name. She’s leading her father’s unruly flock of sheep home for the night. She has a shepherd’s crook in one hand and a smoke-grey kitten squirming around the other, climbing up the sleeve of her dirndl on curious claws, exploring the paisley kerchief ties at the back of her neck. A kestrel flies above her, gliding in a sea of blue sky. “Hey, shepherd-girl!” I call out in a moment of impulsive fancy, too idle for my own…

April 15, 2022

Coyote Woman Sings the Blues

by Marissa James Coyote Woman couldn’t stand the trailer park’s people-headed kids. She chain smoked as they smacked basketballs down the asphalt and kicked themselves past her fence on scooters. When they caught her yellow moon eyes, they quieted, hurried, only to burst out in laughter as soon as they thought they were beyond her gaze. She had been a coyote once, but far more woman, now. Having pups of her own had cemented this identity change. And so many other changes, besides.

January 6, 2022

Awards Eligibility Post for 2021

As awards season descends upon us all, we’ve compiled a reference list of all the original stories Zooscape published in 2021, along with approximate word counts.  We think they’re all award-worthy.  We hope you think so too! Dance of Wood and Grace by Marie Croke (2,100 words) The Lonely Little Toaster by A Humphrey Lanham (1,100 words) How to Safely Engage in Telepathy with the Dolphins of Ocean Paradise by Elizabeth Cobbe (900 words) Bliss and Abundance by Nicholas Stillman (3,200 words) Heart of Ice by Anna Madden (1,000 words) And the Red Dragon Passes by Emily Randolph-Epstein (2,100 words) Coffee and the Fox by Mari Ness (800 words) The Sewers of New York by Elinor Caiman Sands…

December 15, 2021

Issue 13

Welcome to Issue 13 of Zooscape! A new day is dawning for furry fiction. Science-fiction was once a looked-down-upon genre, small and shoved off to the side, kept away from serious literature, back at the turn of the previous century.  Now, it’s a booming field, filling the airwaves with blockbusters. Well, furry fiction already has blockbusters.  Now it’s time to start labeling them.  If it’s about talking animals, it’s furry.  If it’s about talking dragons or gryphons or unicorns, it’s furry.  There is furry fiction mixed up all throughout the other speculative fiction genres, and readers who want to find it are ready to see it labeled properly under a…

December 15, 2021

A Chance to Breathe

by Daniel Ausema The passenger ship floated down to land, and Tirket wasn’t the only one to cough and wheeze.  Her carapace ached as it stretched with each heaving breath.  The weeks in the hold hadn’t been a kindness to any of them.  She pushed toward the nearest window, longing to see the city — the songbird city with its fabled machine-craft.  The doctors promised she might breathe easier there in the dry air.  In her mind it was a wide land of bulbous buildings and sprawling parks, bronze and green.  Of fresh air that welcomed the fluttering of her wings, air that tasted of flowers.

December 15, 2021

The Incandescence of Her Simulacrum

by Logan Thrasher Collins Eudaimonia woke in wetspace, conscious yet missing bodily form. She could not see or hear, though her mind’s dynamical oscillations conjured phantasmagoric flashes of illusory blue and purple light. But this was to be expected. Eudaimonia’s brain had been stored on a biological computer under the flesh of a sea sponge. The sponge’s computational organ consisted of a dense pellet of cellular nanomachinery, packed chock full of ribonucleic memristors and multiplexers. After a few minutes of adjusting to the shock of the new cognitive vessel, Eudaimonia turned on the sponge’s senses. She had paid handsomely in squishcoin to spend a few hours in this sponge. Eudaimonia…

December 15, 2021

Be Productive Like Cha-Cha

by Katlina Sommerberg Cha-Cha the crow landed atop the human cadaver. He had watched the man misstep from a high-rise apartment, clip his head on the waiting hovercar, and splat in front of Cha-Cha’s lucky dumpster. Looking for shiny bits, Cha-Cha jumped off the man’s shoulder to the messy mop of blond hair. The corpse had two blue eyes, but one shone in the morning sun. Cha-Cha clawed at the shining eye, but it repelled his strikes. He chittered human-speak excitedly to himself. He hopped onto the corpse’s cheek and ripped out the eyelid. Thanks to countless practice, Cha-Cha extracted the bionic eye in 27 seconds. He grabbed it by…